At the invitation of the 369th African-American Veterans Association, Falun Gong practitioners participated in a parade commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. on May 21st, 2006 on Fifth Ave. in Manhattan, New York. Major General Nathaniel James expressed that commemorating Martin Luther King on this special day conformed to the ideals of freedom and patriotism promoted by the 369th African-American Veterans Association, which is to tell the world, that anybody should enjoy inalienable rights to life, freedom and the pursuit of happiness. This is one of the important parts of the American culture.
|Divine Land Marching Band||Waist Drum troupe|
The parade marched down 5th Avenue, along Central Park, from 61st Street to 86th Street. The parade passed by the famous Metropolitan Museum of Art and traversed a residential area in Upper Manhattan. On a summery Sunday afternoon, people came to the park with their entire families to take walks along the paths or sit in front of the museum to relax. The Falun Gong practitioners' parade entry attracted the enthusiastic attention of the passerby. People appreciated the practitioners' performance, and many took out their cameras and videocams to take photos, and gave the thumbs-up sign to show their support.
The Divine Land Marching Band demonstrated mighty power and grandeur. Their performance of "Falun Dafa is Good" and other musical pieces reverberated down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue. New Yorkers were amazed and jubilant upon seeing this large band composed of more than a hundred, mostly Chinese, Falun Gong practitioners. They took pictures. An older man even danced joyfully to the beat.
The Falun Gong exercise group behind the band demonstrated the slow and graceful Falun Gong exercises. Vigorous waist drummers in bright golden suits, with red waist drums, attracted many people's attention along Fifth Avenue.
The organiser of the parade expressed his heartfelt appreciation to Falun Gong practitioners at the conclusion of the parade. He thanked the practitioners for their enthusiastic participation, and their outstanding performances, especially their persistence in the rain. Major General James told the reporter that he took many pictures of the practitioners when they were performing. "It's so beautiful!" the Chinese culture they displayed and their high spirits are also one of the most important parts of American culture.
New York Falun Gong practitioner Song Yun said, "As members of the community, we are glad to participate in community activities, to enrich community culture. At the same time, we also hope that American people can better understand Falun Gong--an ancient cultivation practice based on Chinese traditional culture, and learn about the CCP's brutal persecution of Falun Gong practitioners, so as to help stop this most horrible persecution in human history and the most despicable crimes."
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